Most would say Year 4 was a success for Jamal Adams. But, like most players of his caliber, he believes he’s just scratching the surface.
In his first season with the Seahawks, the dynamic safety set the single-season sack record by a defensive back, was named second-team All-Pro and earned his third consecutive Pro Bowl nod. Not bad for a player’s debut season with a new team, especially if said player frequently ended up on the weekly injury report.
During a recent appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast to promote Sunday’s virtual Pro Bowl celebration, Adams detailed the number of injuries he played through in 2020: a Grade 2 groin strain, two broken fingers, an A.C. joint sprain in his shoulder and a torn labrum, which he said occurred during the regular-season finale.
“I was crushed,” said Adams regarding the late-season injury, per The Seattle Times. “I knew I would not perform like me in the playoffs. That’s why I was brought here. So it hurt, man. It really did hurt.”
Although the Seahawks were viewed as an NFC favorite heading into the playoffs, their season ended after a wild-card loss to the Rams. Adams notched four tackles and three passes defensed; he was also on the wrong end of a monster 44-yard Cooper Kupp catch early in the game.
After being limited to 12 games, Adams vowed 2021 “is going to be my best season,” which has to be music to Seahawks general manager John Schneider’s ears. And, with one year remaining on his rookie deal, the club could extend him this offseason as it looks to re-tool and remain competitive for the foreseeable future.
Much was said prior to Adams’ arrival from the Jets, but the passionate young safety proved to be an impact player. An offseason conversation with his then-new head coach outside the Seahawks’ practice facility may have provided the already-confident Adams with the right dose of motivation.
“I’ll never forget, [Pete Carroll] brought me over there when I first got there and he said, ‘What do you want to prove? What do you want to get out of this trade? What are you setting yourself up for?’ I just remember telling him, ‘I just want to be the greatest to do. I just want to get all this, get all that, and win a Super Bowl,'” Adams recalled, via the team’s official website. “But he stopped me and he was like, ‘Hey, you don’t have to do anything special but just be you. You don’t have to change anything. I want you to come here and be Jamal Adams, be the best version of Jamal Adams. Whatever you want to do, on and off the field, for your future, whatever — do it to the best of your ability and just be a true pro at it.’
“When he sat me down and told me that, it just really opened my eyes and took a burden off my back because I always was like, “I’m going to put it on my shoulders, I’m going to put it on my shoulders, I’m strong, I’m strong.” Nah, it’s not about that. When he told me that, I knew from that connection, that day, it was going to be special. To this day, that’s my guy, man. I’ll run through a brick wall for him.”
While his chance to represent Seattle as a Pro Bowler won’t come on the field Sunday, it appears as though Adams is all in on the idea of doing so at future Pro Bowls for years to come.